Saddleback’s fight for and against Gender Neutral restrooms

Single-unit restroom labelled as gender-neutral in the Learning Resource Center. (Ashley Hern)

Single-unit restroom labeled as gender-neutral in the Learning Resource Center. (Ashley Hern)

The International and Diversity Student Council is implementing a plan to create more non-binary restrooms, which are only existent in two buildings on campus.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the California School Success & Opportunity Act or Assembly Bill No.1266, which reinforced that public schools did not possess the ability to discriminate against students based on gender, gender identity, and gender expression on Aug. 12, 2013.

Saddleback, as of right now, only has two gender-neutral restroom locations on campus, in the LRC building and the Fine Arts Department.

Previous Saddleback President Gregory Anderson, before his resignation the year after, was sent an email from the Saddleback Equity and Diversity Committee in 2017, explained that the single-use bathroom facilities for math, science, and engineering faculty lack of compliance with California’s Assembly Bill No. 1732 or the Equal Restroom Access Act.

The act asserts that single-use restrooms within public agencies, including businesses and government buildings, must adhere and display labels for all genders starting March 1, 2017.

The Saddleback’s new sports complex expected to be completed by June 2020, will include two gender-neutral restrooms. This raised questions and ultimately led the faculty to have a vote on the issue. But in 2018, the faculty voted against the same issue.

In an interview with the co-chairs Ray Zimmerman and Carmenmara Hernandez Bravo of Equity and Diversity Committee in 2018, “Specifically, the faculty in Math, Science and Engineering recently voted to maintain gendered single-use bathrooms for themselves rather than convert them into gender-neutral bathrooms accessible to students.”

Saddleback faculty in 2018, were somehow not ready for change and seemed to hold back the old rhetoric of the majority of those holding onto the past of only identifying gender to male and female, outlying the minority or gender preference to be unimportant. So the IDSC is trying to bring this to attention and possibly give another vote to include more GNR locations on campus.

Will Saddlebacks faculty in the math, science, and engineering department include any empathic view of gender identity and its importance of the individual’s personality to include all students by not outlying the individual’s freedom of choice in its next vote.

If more GNR are placed on campus, it will bring attention and recognition of the minority on campus and will bring inclusion of all individuals, who are subjected to the unlawfulness of having to pick a side, and only have two areas of recognition, a fraction of Saddlebacks campus inclusion of gender-neutral individuals and its pursuit to act to have gender equality.